By now, you’ve seen lots of pictures of me in my skivvies, but I’m sure you’re dying to see what everyone else made!
Click on the photo to take you to their post!
If you’re in the Show off Your Skivvies Flickr group, then you may have seen a mini-preview of my Nutmeg set. If not, hey! I made a Nutmeg!
Overall, I was a bit disappointed by this set. In my head, I was picturing a cozy, but dainty lounge-wear set that I would be able to wear around the house in this crazy New York heat (that has, thankfully, calmed down a bit for the moment). When it’s 100+ degrees out, I get home and throw on boyshorts and sports bra. Nutmeg seems like the perfect, pretty alternative to that. Unfortunately, the top isn’t quite as wearable as I would like it to be. The bottoms have gotten lots of wear, though!
The Pattern: Colette Pattern’s Nutmeg: Bralette and French knickers.
Sizing: Okay, first let me say that I had NO IDEA that this pattern was actually bra-sized until I went to cut it out! I was so excited to see something than small, medium, large (which is what I was expecting). For the top, I cut a 30DDD. The bottoms were kind of my own mad-sewintist type creation. I really wanted the little hearts to be on the hemline of the bottoms, but the pattern is supposed to be cut on the bias, so I cut a much larger size than I would have if they had been cut out properly. Long story short: the bottoms are a size 6 with stretch lace panels on either side.
Fabric: Because I did not cut this on the bias, I was able to make both the bralette and the shorts out of 1 yard of embroidered cotton. I also used 1/2 yard of stretch lace, a yard of floral trim, and a couple of yards of picot-edge elastic.
Instructions: As always with a Colette Pattern, the instructions were amazing. I was really nervous about sewing up a “bra” (however loosely that term can be applied here), but the instructions made it a piece of cake. The bottoms were a quick, easy sew. I definitely learned a lot in this make!
What I love most: The fabric. Pink, polka-dotted, and hearted! Does it get any better? Not in my world. The ribbon I used also has a pretty floral print woven in, which I love.
What I would do differently next time: Ummmm everything? Ha. I’ll start with the bottoms here. They really should be cut on the bias, and I’m sure cutting them that way would seriously affect the fit. As they are, they kind of fit me like men’s boxer shorts, which is great, but not exactly what I was going for here. Even with the bias cut, I would definitely shorten them a couple of inches. The bralette is just weird on me. I’m pretty sure that my chest just doesn’t want to go into something so unsupportive, but I’m not sure how this could work on anyone with a large chest. The ties in the back are on the same line (on my body at least) as my bust point, so when I pull them tight, I get a weird flattened out bit on my chest. If I don’t pull them tight, I get fabric pooling around the sides and the bottom.
|If you look just under my bust, you can see the weird fabric pooling I’m getting combined with the flattening-out at the apex of the cups.|
Pattern alterations: I didn’t cut the knickers on the bias, and added lace panels to the sides.
Recommended? This set is just so pretty, and I think it would be great on someone with a smaller chest. If you have a large chest, I’d say no to the bralette, but yes if you’re looking for a cozy pair of pajama bottoms! Be forewarned that these fit much more like shorts than “knickers,” but if that’s what you’re in the market for, I say go for it!
Final Thoughts: I would love to make these up again in silk; they really are perfect for wearing to bed in the summer! The bralette and I probably won’t meet again…
Have you been sewing skivvies? Just a reminder, the challenge ends August 1st! Send us a link, a photo, or post a photo the flickr group of you in your skivvies (or bras, or swimsuits, or whatever you’re showing off) to be included in the wrap-up post!
…and maybe you’re not sure where to start?
I know exactly what that feels like! I’ve been compiling a list of useful sew-a-longs, helpful posts, and websites that sell skivvy-making supplies for a long time. Here are a few things I’d recommend you check out if you’re feeling a little unsure of where to start, what you need, or where to go for supplies.
I want to make a bra, where do I begin?
The amount of notions that go into a bra can be VERY intimidating. The fabrics are different than those you’d typically use in garment sewing, and the language is a bit different. It’s okay! Take a deep breath, and head on over to Cloth Habit’s Bra-making Sew-a-long. Amy takes your hand and walks you through every step of construction, from supply lists to bra pattern hacks. If you’re curious about exactly what you’ll need, and need to do, check out this sew-a-long. It is one of the best resources I’ve found!
Where do I find lingerie sewing patterns? They don’t seem to have any at my local chain store…
9 times out of 10, you are going to have to go online to find a bra pattern. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may even have to order them from another country! Personally, I’ve ordered patterns from both Pin-up-girls and Merckwaerdigh and have found them both to have excellent customer service and fast shipping. A few other companies I haven’t tried are: Elan, Make Bra, and Danglez.
If you’re looking for patterns active wear, slips, pajamas, or swimwear, check out your favorite pattern companies. BurdaStyle and “The big three” have a limited selection of these types of patterns. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, be sure to check out Jalie. Jalie specializes in activewear sewing patterns, and has something for everyone!
And, for free patterns, you can always check out my Sew Free board on pinterest. I have hundreds of links to free patterns there!
Where can I buy supplies?
Dixie’s Big Fat List of Bra Suppliers says it all.
Personally, I have ordered from the Bra Makers Supply and Sew Sassy. Both retailers are great, especially if you can catch them during a sale! I prefer to use Sew Sassy, only because the are in the US and shipping is cheaper for me!
Am I wearing the right size? How do I know?
We’ve all read the statistic that something like 90% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. It’s true. I am OBSESSED with bra fitting (seriously, sometimes Kristin listens to me drone on for hours over dinner), and I wear the wrong size bra. It’s a function of not wanting to admit that I’m a certain size, and not being able to afford the $100 bras that do come in my size. I can tell everyone exactly what is wrong with their bra, but I still have issues with my own. Go figure. That’s why I’m trying to sew my own! And, I promise that I will be taking you on my fitting journey with me!
If you’re happy with your current bra, great! If you find yourself re-adjusting, in pain, or generally regretting that your body ever developed breasts, check out a calculator, read Novita’s guest post, or get a professional fitting (and no, I don’t mean Victoria’s Secret). Or do them all! At the very least, a calculator can give you an idea of where to start in sewing your own bras. It’s really important to keep your mind open, and keep in mind that breasts can change over the years. A size is just a starting point, and just like dress sizes, doesn’t really mean anything unless it fits you right. You may fluctuate from brand to brand, or style to style.
There’s no harm, and you’ll be happy you did! I promise.
Any other questions? PLEASE leave me a comment, and I will do my best to answer.
When Kristin and I first sat down to talk about the Show Off Your Skivvies Challenge, we did a lot of thinking about what patterns we liked and how they were presented. As a long-time fan of Colette Patterns, my mind was immediately drawn to Sarai’s beautiful patterns, realistic models, and classic aesthetic. Specifically, I thought about the lingerie patterns offered, and the way they were presented: not over-sexualized or skimpy. They’re classy, wearable, and modeled by women with realistic bodies.
We reached out to Sarai to get her views on Colette’s lingerie patterns, models, and skivvy-sewing. Here’s what she had to say…
Why did you decide to start designing your own patterns?
Do you spend a lot of time brainstorming new design ideas, or do you find that the right inspiration just hits you?
We are very attracted to the look of both the Nutmeg and Cinnamon patterns; however, it seems like there are far fewer photos in the flickr group and on the Colette Patterns forum of these patterns than of other patterns. Are they generally less-popular patterns, or do you think that sewists are just more hesitant to model these patterns?
Do you plan to release any more patterns for lingerie or intimate-apparel?
Really striking beauty comes from standing out, not looking like every model in every photo. Even if you don’t consider yourself beautiful in the traditional sense, you can be beautiful by celebrating your uniqueness, by loving your body, loving your quirks, and loving your own style. Women who do that absolutely radiate.
You’ve made your own bras and showcased them on the Coletterie. Is this something you’ve continued to do and enjoy?
Any words of encouragement to those participating in the challenge who may be hesitant to show off?
By now you all know I am pretty excited by the prospect of sewing skivvies. You may also know that I’ve been collecting free patterns on my pinterest board for some time, and documenting my attempts to make them as part of my Sew Free Project. Which leads us to…
Sew Free: Skivvy Edition
Because really, what’s better than free skivvy-sewing?
(From top to bottom)
Have you been getting busy sewing skivvies? I hope so!
If you need a little something to cheer you up or get you started, I have 3 patterns to give away to three lucky skivvy-sewers!
Butterick 5165: A ladies robe, size 10. All pieces are included and are uncut!
McCall’s 9290: Misses’ and Junior Bathing Suit, Pants and Top. Bust size is only 31.5, but that top cold easily be graded! All pieces are there!
Simplicity 5576: The Every Body Bikini, size 8-10. Again, all of the pieces are there!
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me which one of the patterns you would like to win!
The giveaway is open to everyone. You have 1 week to enter, and then I will mail out your patterns if you’ve won and you will have even more skivvy-sewing to show off in July!
Don’t forget to check out the details of the Challenge, and join the group if you haven’t already!
My dear sewing and crafting friends,
I’ve recently noticed a trend: beautiful, talented, amazing sewists whom I adore have been sneaking in little comments, or writing entire posts about things that make them feel self-conscious. I just don’t get it. I see beautiful women who have style, looks, and skill I try to emulate worrying about little things like their “belly pooch,” “arm flaps,” and “cellulite.” They’re worrying about things I just don’t see!
What’s worse, I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Kristin of Sew Classic and I have been talking, and we agree. Something needs to change. Someone needs to help us celebrate our bodies. We’re supposed to be a supportive, helpful bunch. Our community of sewists (sewers? seamstresses?) is special. We support each other, fix each others mistakes, and tell each other when we’ve made a knockout new garment. So, I’m challenging Kristin. She’s challenging me. We’re challenging you! We want you to stop the self-depreciating talk, and celebrate your body. After all, it’s the only one you’re ever going to get!
Which leads me to my new obsession. I want to make my own lingerie. Bloggers like Madalynne, Novita, Amy, Heather Lou, and Sarah have been making bras, undies, slips, robes, nighties, corsets, and even swimsuits for ages, and sharing their infinite wisdom with all of us for just as long. I want all those pretty garments whizzing through my sewing machine, too!
I also want to show them to you. But, I’m afraid.
You see in real life, I have no problem walking around in a bikini. I don’t care if you’re looking at me in disgust because my tummy is jiggling, or drooling over my physique. I grew up at the beach, and that means I’m most comfortable in bare feet and a swimsuit. In my blogging life, I’m afraid of what all of you will think of the girl prancing around in her new nutmeg set.
On of my favorite bloggers, Novita, sews up bra and panty sets that are always constructed amazingly well. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, she even posts pictures of herself wearing them. I think that posting a picture of you in your bra is not only one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen a fellow blogger do, but the most helpful. As someone who reads blogs both to interact with others, and to learn from them, seeing bras, underwear, pj’s, and swimsuits on others is so much more helpful then seeing them on a dress form.
Other bloggers have posted time and time again about how dress forms just don’t properly represent the female form: we each have our own unique, beautiful shape, and a dress form just can’t show us what a garment really looks like. Most sewing patterns have line drawings and photos of the finished garment on an living, breathing human. They rarely bother to show them on a dress form.
Why then, do most bra, panty, slip, and swimsuit patterns show only line drawings or illustrations of the finished garment? Even more importantly: why are we all so afraid to show other sewists the foundation garments we’ve created? Are we all afraid that others will look at us and go “ew,” or are we afraid that others will judge us for posing on our blogs in our underwear?
What is the stigma?
I mean, really, bras cover more than bikinis! We have no trouble running around in sundresses; what’s wrong with slips? Bodysuits and one-piece swimsuits are really just rompers without shorts! Most importantly, we seem to have no trouble wearing a swimsuit at the beach in front of hundreds of strangers…why can’t we wear them on our blogs to help others learn?
I’m not sure what it’s all about. Quite honestly, I don’t care. I think that every single woman has a beautiful body: whether it is apple shaped, pear shaped, or hourglass. Whether you were born thin, work hard at the gym to build a muscular physique, or tailor your clothes to show-off your curves, I want to see what you’re making.
Are you making a swimsuit this season? Have you been sewing bras for ages? I want to see them, and I don’t want to see them on a hanger.
Why? Because I want to learn from you. I want to know how these garments hang, how they drape, and how they show off what you’ve got. Line drawings are fine and dandy for seeing where the seams on a garment should line up, but I want to see how they hold up on real women’s bodies!
Most of all, I want us all to be as brave as Novita. I want to show you my makes, and not worry that you are looking at my thighs instead of the cute bow I put around the waist of my underwear. In order to be that brave, I’m going to need your help, your support, and your input.
Now, I’m not saying that we should all start sewing lacy thongs and posing like pinups (although you can if you want to!) I’m saying that we should show off our makes, good or bad, no matter what type of garment we’ve made. I want you to step just an inch out of your comfort zone and show off garments you might usually just hang on a hanger, BUT I want you to do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable. If you want to wear a sarong with your color blocked bikini, go ahead! Want to wear a t-shit under that new steel-boned corset? Go for it! If you’d feel more comfortable wearing a robe with your new high-waisted betty panties, please do! Would you like to show off your bra, but not the rest of your body? Hell yes! The only rule is that you get out there and show off your makes.
|Lots of ladies looking happy, healthy, and awesome in vintage suits!|
Here’s the challenge:
Show us your handmade underthings! We’re calling them “skivvies” because we think it’s way more fun that way! Simple as that.
Each week, Kristin of SewClassic and I will be featuring a project from the flickr group, as well as a bunch of other skivvy-related posts. On August 1st, we’ll be doing the big reveal of everyone’s awesome projects.
Are you in???
Join the flickr group, grab a button, and snap a photo! Add it to the group by July 31st, and stay tuned for pattern ideas, interviews, giveaways, and project photos! Love twitter? Show us what you’re up to with #sewingskivvies !
Finally, I’m getting us started, because if I didn’t that wouldn’t be very brave of me, now would it?
That’s me, on the beach, last summer in my favorite suit. I can’t wait to sew my own, and to see yours!
And, don’t forget to head on over to Sew Classic for updates, posts, features, and skivvy-sewing!
**One last note: in the interest of personal privacy, the flickr group is set to private. You must be a member of the group to post photos and to see photos of others! When you join the group, make sure there is some way for us to figure out who you are (tell us the name of your blog, say hi, link to your flickr profile, etc.). We’re looking for friendly sewists who want to help each other learn, not creepers who want to look at construction photos of undies. If you DO NOT want your photos to be a part of the “big reveal” on our blogs for any reason, please let either Kristin or myself know by sending us an e-mail! **